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30 years!

Posted by Dave Bull at   9:19 AM, July 1, 2016 [Permalink]

Today - July 1 - is an anniversary day for me ... it's been exactly 30 years since I arrived in Japan! Here's the stamp they put in my passport that day ... they gave me permission for a 90 day stay!

I had visited the country a few times before that, but the summer of 1986 was when the four of us (my then-wife and our two little girls) pulled up roots in Vancouver and took the plunge to start a new life here in Japan.

Here's a collection of the subsequent passport stamps I got over the next few years; you can see the term getting longer bit-by-bit as I became more established:

... culminating with the 'last' one in the sequence - the permission for Permanent Residence:

And it's been 'happy ever after' since then ... :-)

There is an interesting note to this however; although the Permanent Residence status puts me pretty much on the same 'level' as all Japanese people - I pay taxes the same as everybody else, have health insurance, etc. etc. - I cannot vote. Not nationally, nor at the prefecture level, nor locally.

And because I have been out of Canada for so long, I no longer have any voting rights over there either. And ditto for the UK - although I was born in England, I am not considered a 'resident' and cannot vote. I could not participate in the recent referendum on remaining in the EU, for example.

So as it happens, I have no voice in any of 'my' three countries; I am totally disenfranchised.

"Taxation without Representation!" (Let's have a revolution! :-)




Added by: Jean-Pierre Caubios on July 2, 2016 1:28 AM

It is really interesting what you explain about some acquired rights while residing more or less longer in some countries. Being a long spanish resident as an outsider EU citizen and communitarian one aftewards (because of my french nationality) I've got the right to pay taxes, health insurance service, pay retirement contributions, but not get my retirement after years of efforts...! It's funny, but not for me !
Have a nice day-night (I must think you live at our antipodes!)


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